Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this photo of the oldest living fox in the world. It has been living at Belfast Lough RSPB Reserve for almost 74 years and was christened Earl Foxyloxy. By day Earl is a butcher and by night he is a baker and sometimes he even has time to take a lady from Armagh out. Earl insists however he has never been a Candlestick maker. He loves baking and his favourite is the Tray Bake selection.
Earl has had a den at the Reserve even before the reserve was invented. He rooms with John Badger, Cecil Hedgehog and Buddeeeeyy! Earls a cute hoor and is easily recognisable as the same fox becuase it looks like a Fox. Its favourite food is electricity and it gorges itself on the free electricty provided by the RSPB predator proof fence. His natural food is White and Black Storks, Spoonbills, Larry McGarrys, Dermot Healy Herons, Moorhens, Water Rails, Suppressed Spotted Crakes and breeding Corncrakes. He eats them by the half dozen, hungry boy.
The RSPB were worried about Earl being lonely as John was always off seawatching and his relationship with Cecil is a bit prickly to say the least so they brought in 2 Polish Ponies to keep Earl company. The 3 of them can often be seen in the Botanic Inn on a Saturday Night entertaining the ladies, lets hope Andrea doesnt find out. In the summer Earl can often be seen sitting on the illegal and ruined Tern Island as Earl loves to hear the stories from the Terns off what they have been up to on their winter travels and it also fancies Elsa the Arctic Tern (again dont tell Andrea) but he is too shy to make the first move. Fox lovers come from all over Europe come to see Earl and the RSPB are building a shrine to Earl dressed up as a new hide. If you want to see Earl dont come in October as he decamps to the Copeland Islands for a month of bird ringing and he has added several new birds to the Northern Ireland list not least the very suppressed looking Marsh Warbler and the "We.dont want anyone on the island Raddes Warbler"
Earl's other love is open heart surgery and he has struck up a friendship with local doctor Mr Donald Surgeon who specialises in heart surgery for the local Black Guillemot community. The two can often be seen on a kayak in the Herdmann Channel discussing advances in medicine and how they can get the Black Guillemots to eat a healthier diet.
Earl's best friend is local lothario Dane Mickey and their favourite pastime is shoplifting out of Jessops and HMV in Belfast City Centre, they are probably the best Tealeefs this side of Bundoran and single handedly they are responcible for over 6000 job losses.After a days shoplifting they head to Blockbuster to rent a movie, their favourite is "Buck Stupid" which they have seen over a million times, but come on whoever gets tired of being buck stupid?
Earl has become a local legend and he was front of the house at the recent FLEG protests on the nearby Newtownards Road and he proudly wore his Union Jack Coat that the warden had bought for him at Christmas. The Peelers never got near him and the guy with the water cannon needed to go to Specsavers although an APB has been put out for him in the local Short Strand. He gets on famously with the warden as he eats all the breeding waders and terns and saves everyone in the RSPB a lot of work having to count the breeding birds. It also leaves the volunteers more time to make tea and biscuits for all the visitors as there are no birds to show them.
He has been given honary Nobirds Membership although they still charge him £10 a year which he feels is gilding the lily. Earl thinks they should accept the recent Debacle Teal at the Reserve as he actually ate it and it certainly tasted Korean! Even Earl finds it hard to believe that it was over 8 years ago and still no white smoke from the Nobirds chimney. Earl thinks he should be elected onto the records committee but he accepts that no-one any longer gets elected and he is not on first name terms with EL Supremo after an embarrising incident with an I Phone and a pair of glasses in the roadside hide.Earl feels if he moves to say the South of France he would have a much better chance of getting onto the records committee.
Earls only natural enemy is the Co.Down Pantymime Horse who chases it up and down the reserve nin eeing "Go away Mr Fox you rotten scoundrel ya stop selling Pantymime Horse meat to Tescoes" You couldnt make it up!
Footnote: We outed the Co.Down Pantymime Horse as father and son team Andrew Crory and Leonard Charles (no relation) Leonard is a grockle, Andrew hates grockles and laughs at Leonard beehind his back, but he uses him for what he can get out of him. Andrew's like that.